Linden Industrial Association
Dear L.I.A. Member,
The next meeting of the Association will be at the Meeting Room at the Hampton Inn @ Aviation Plaza, 501 West Edgar Road (Rt. 1 North & Stiles Street), Linden, New Jersey, at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 21, 2017. Our Guest Speaker will be James R. Coyle, President, Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce, who will speak regarding the outcome of today’s gubernatorial election and its impact on the business community.
Please note your diary and confirm your attendance by e-mail to email@example.com, so that we may make the appropriate arrangements for breakfast. You should plan to have a substitute attend on behalf of your company if you are not able to attend.
Please see the Minutes of the Meeting on October 17, 2017 below.
Calendar of Events
November 21, 2017 (Sponsored by Cogen Technologies Linden Venture LP)
January 16, 2018 (Sponsored by Total Specialties, Inc.)
February 20, 2018 (Sponsored by A&M Industrial)
March 20, 2018 (JREZ, LLC)
Annual Dinner -- April 19, 2018
May 15, 2018
June 19, 2018 (Sponsored by Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery)September 18, 2018 (Sponsored by Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, P.C.)
Linden Industrial Association
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE
LINDEN INDUSTRIAL ASSOCIATION
A regular meeting of the Linden Industrial Association was held on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, at 8 a.m. at the Hampton Inn @ Aviation Plaza, 501 West Edgar Road (Rt. 1 North & Stiles Street), Linden, NJ, pursuant to written notice thereof duly sent to all members in accordance with the provisions of the Bylaws of the Association. The following were present:
Paul Abramson SolarKal
Mayor Derek Armstead City of Linden
Lois I. Bass Infineum
Kathleen Burke A&M Industrial Supply
Wayne Cromwell General Magnaplate
James K. Estabrook, Esq. Secretary
Brandon Hering Linden VFT
Bernie Kordelski Total Specialties USA
Gene Lauricella Linden Bulk Transportation LLC
June Lazaro Primerica
Alex Lospinoso Linden Economic Development Corporation
Richard Lulla Mott MacDonald
Franklin Ochoa Unity Bank
Bidisa Rai Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce
Kevin Rosenthal A&M Industrial
Nancy P. Sadlon Phillips 66 Bayway
Natalie Sesto Linden Cogen Plant
Jared Stadlin Linden Bulk Warehouse & Distribution
Rebecca K. Tattoli Office of the Mayor
Angie Tsirkas Northfield Bank
Our special thanks to Lois I. Bass, Karl Van Driesen, and Infineum USA L.P., for their continued support of the Linden Industrial Association in sponsoring today’s breakfast meeting. A motion was duly made and seconded to approve the minutes of the membership meeting on September 19, 2017. The motion was unanimously passed.
Program. President Lois I. Bass was pleased to introduce the panel of speakers and officials representing the City of Linden: Stacey Carron, Linden Tax Collector, Gregory J. Grasso, Supervisor of Social Studies and Business for the Linden Public Schools, and President Alex Lospinoso of the Linden Economic Development Corporation.
President Alex Lospinoso was the first panel member to address the membership. He stated that his position with the Linden Economic Development Corporation would not commence until November 1st, but he was anxious to start his new role on behalf of the City. He was able to give one update as to Planning Board approval for the new retail and residential development at Baltimore and St. George Avenue.
Stacey Carron, Linden Tax Collector, was the next panelist to address the membership. The Office of the Tax Collector is responsible for the billing, enforcement and collection of real estate taxes. In the current year, $183 million in tax revenue flows through her office. Taxpayers do not often understand that their tax bill is composed of multiple component parts including individual assessments from Union County, the Linden School District, the City of Linden, an Open Space Levy, as well as a Library assessment. A review of each individual tax bill reflects the breakdown amongst their component parts. Tax appeals are a large part of the outstanding accounts receivable for the municipality. The more tax appeals there are, the higher the rates become in the municipality. Luckily, the City of Linden is able to collect over 98% of its tax revenue every year. The City, however, does have approximately $10 million in delinquencies that will never be collected. Currently the City has foreclosed on eight separate properties, including Park Plastics and LCP. Although the City will use the Tax Sale Certificate process to collect some of its dollars, many of these properties are environmentally contaminated, and there are no entities that are willing to buy tax sale certificates on them. Ms. Carron reminded the membership that there are many State of New Jersey programs which are designed to protect the elderly from excessive municipal taxation. There is the State Homestead Rebate Program, the State Property Tax Reimbursement Program, the Senior Freeze Program, the Senior Citizen credits and Veterans credits that are all available and should be investigated by each homeowner once they reach 65 years of age.
Finally, Gregory J. Grasso, Supervisor of Social Studies and Business for the Linden Public Schools, addressed the membership. Mr. Grasso has taught in the Linden Public School System for 18 years and has lived in the City of Linden for the last ten years. There were two particular topics that Mr. Grasso wanted to relay to the membership. One was the “One-to-One Initiative” which involved the provision of a laptop computer to every student in the School System so they had up-to-date technology. The School System is very focused on the use of independent data in designing programs to enhance the learning experience for students and to maintain the highest quality faculty. The second was the Business Program which starts in the Middle School for initial exposure and proceeds through the High School level. The Business Program covers both personal finances and the operations of a business. The program will cover Business Law and upon graduation, there is a matriculation agreement at The Berkeley College or City College whereby if a student maintains a “C” or better, he or she could attend those schools and obtain college credit. The School Budget is substantial at $116 million, which is composed of $91 million from the City tax levies plus $25 million from the State of New Jersey. There was some criticism levied that the school system was not highly ranked due to its lack of advanced placement, college level classes. Mr. Grasso explained, however, that this has to do with the fact that the City of Linden has adopted another college credit program which has now been identified as the equivalent of advance placement courses, and it has moved up substantially in its rankings. Mr. Grasso also reminded the membership that the population at the school system has a large population of ESL students.
Environmental, Health & Safety. Richard Lulla reported that the U.S. Department of Labor finalized on September 17th its silica standard which would be implemented in 2018. OSHA has also finished guidelines for mobile lifting equipment. New Jersey DEP has established a pilot program for electronic reporting which will go into effect this quarter. Further, there are new regulations coming out regarding emergency generators and their utilization under non-emergency hours. Currently, you can use your emergency generator up to 100 hours in non-exempt fashion, but over 100 hours it will be regulated. Also, NJDEP will issue regulations on nanotechnologies and materials. Finally, the EPA has increased the number of pesticides and fertilizers that it will be monitoring and obtaining data on from 81 to 225.
Government and Community Relations and Linden Economic Development Corporation. Mayor Derek Armstead welcomed the new LEDC Director, Alex Lospinoso. Unfortunately, the Mayor was hoping to have a guest at the meeting, Phillip Gennarelli from FirstPower Energy, which is a company specializing in downdraft gasification where they convert sludge into coal-type products. But he was unable to attend. The Mayor also covered his new proposed hazardous material storage fee, which has been discussed with many of the industrial businesses in the City of Linden, but no Ordinance has been drafted to date. It would be a new tax based on the amount of hazardous materials held on site to pay for municipal services relating to those sites. The Mayor reported that the solar panels to be installed at the former Linden Landfill had a bit of a setback as the business that originally desired the electricity has now backed out, so the solar panel field will be producing more energy than is demanded. Finally, the St. George Avenue Project, as mentioned by Mr. Lospinoso, is moving forward and upon completion the City expects to receive about $500,000 in new tax revenue.
Membership. Vice President June Lazaro reported that she and co-Chairman Angie Tsirkas will be out on Halloween going door-to-door to solicit new memberships in the organization.
There being no further matters, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be Tuesday, November 21, 2017, sponsored by Cogen Technologies Linden Venture.
James K. Estabrook, Esq., Secretary